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Moving to Melbourne

Victoria, Australia
A guide to your relocation

Welcome to Melbourne
Welcome to Melbourne one of the worlds most liveable cities.
To those of us who live in Melbourne and the surrounding regions of Victoria, this comes as no surprise.
We live in a vibrant, multicultural community that offers diverse sporting, cultural and leisure opportunities,
a green environment, with a low crime rate, and affordable housing and amenities.
This relocation guide is designed to assist you in making the most of your new life in Melbourne. It provides information
on finding somewhere to live, schooling, the health system and how Melbournes public transport
system operates. Importantly, the relocation guide provides details of organisations that can tell you more about
these and other important issues as you settle in to life Down Under.
If you represent a business and require assistance with establishing your operations here in the state of Victoria,
Invest Victoria can also offer a range of free investment facilitation services. These services include site selection,
market briefings, introductions to new industry networks and advice on government procedures.
Contact Invest Victoria on our hotline +61 3 9651 8100, or visit our website at www.investvictoria.com.
All prices in the relocation guide are in Australian dollars (A$).
As of November 2012, A$1 is worth approximately US$0.96.

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

1. A brief history of Melbourne

7. Essential home services


Figure 1: Map of Australia and Asia

Table 4: Major essential service providers


2. Finding somewhere to live

Telecommunications 21

Melbourne and its regions

8. Transport


Inner suburbs

Public transport


Figure 2: Map of Melbourne

Metlink 23

Bayside suburbs

Taxis 23

Inner eastern suburbs

Cars 24

Inner north/west suburbs

Street directories


Outer suburbs

Driving laws


How to find your new home

Fuel/gas 25

Serviced apartments

CityLink 25

Shared accommodation

Bicycles 25

Furniture 7

Airport transfer


3. Childcare and education

9. Sport, culture and events


Childcare 9

Sport 27

Regular care

Culture and events


Occasional care

10. Shopping, food and dining out


Playgroups 9
Kindergarton/preschool 9
School 9
Tertiary education


Table 2: Government Schools with a bilingual program 11

4. Health and welfare


Medicare 13

Shopping 29
Food 29
Dining out


Nightlife 31

11. Community, multiculturalism and local government


Community Organisations



Australias health system and insurance


12. Media

Ambulance and emergencies


Newspapers 35

Hospitals 13

Television 35

Welfare 13

Radio 35

5. Finance


13. Useful information


Money 15

Telephone numbers


Banking 15

Water restrictions


Tax 15

Fire restrictions


Superannuation 16

Postal system


Insurance 16

Emergency/other useful contacts


Table 3: Tax rates for 2009/10


Table 5: Victorian Emergency services


6. Entering the country


Relocation services


Appendix: Links and contact details


Visas 19
Customs and quarantine


Learning the language


Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

1. A brief history of Melbourne

Although Victoria covers only three per cent of Australias
landmass, it contributes about 25 per cent to the nations
economy and accounts for a similar proportion of the
population about 5.6 out of 22.5 million.

For 40,000 years Indigenous Australians have been living

in the area now known as Melbourne. Five Aboriginal
language groups, forming the Kulin Nation, were living in
the area when European settlers arrived in 1835. There are
still Aboriginal communities living in Melbourne and they
continue to help shape the way we live today.

Today Melbourne is a multicultural city with a

population comprising people from over 200 countries,
speaking over 230 languages and dialects and following
over 100 religious faiths. It is a city at the cutting-edge
when it comes to arts, architecture, industry, sport,
technology and many other areas.

Melbourne has grown to a city with a population of four

million. It first came to prominence on a world scale
during the gold rush era of the 1850s, which led to a huge
economic and population boost for the state of Victoria.
Melbourne is the capital city of the state of Victoria, one
of the six original colonies of Australia, belonging to the
British Empire. The nation gained its independence on the
1st of January 1901, when the six colonies became the six
states of Australia. Australia maintains its historical links
with the British Empire. Queen Elizabeth II is our official
Head of State.

Figure 1: Map of Australia and Asia


New Delhi

Hong Kong


Kuala Lumpur


Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

2. Finding somewhere to live

The following is a brief overview of some of Melbournes
suburbs. Detailed information about services available in
each area can be obtained from local councils. Metropolitan
Melbourne consists of 31 local government areas, each
controlled by the local council. More information on local
councils is available in Chapter 11 of this guide.

Most homes in Melbourne are sold or leased through

a real estate agent, who must be licensed in order to
practise. The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV),
at www.reiv.com.au, provides lists of real estate agents
by geographical area, as well as codes of conduct, market
information, consumer information and so forth.
For more information call +61 3 9205 6666.

Inner suburbs

Many people choose to rent their homes; information

about renting is covered by Consumer Affairs Victoria
(CAV). Visit www.consumer.vic.gov.au, or call
1300 55 81 81 (from overseas: +61 3 8684 0735). CAV also
has information about other consumer issues, for example,
laws on retail shopping, motor cars, building regulations
and licensing of businesses. If you wish to buy a home,
the Buying & Selling Property link on the CAV homepage
provides information about the rules, regulations and
other issues involved in purchasing property.

Being close to the CBD, the inner suburbs, such as

Docklands, South Melbourne, South Yarra, Carlton and
Fitzroy, contain some of Melbournes oldest housing,
as well as new medium density developments. Real
estate in these areas is comparatively more expensive,
although affordable options are also available. Many
college students live in the inner suburbs because of their
proximity to some of Melbournes finest universities and
training colleges.
One of Australias most prestigious universities,
the University of Melbourne, is located in Parkville,
just north of the CBD, and RMIT University is located
within the CBD itself. A tram from the CBD to the inner
suburbs will only take 10 to 20 minutes, and these suburbs
are also within walking distance from the city.

Melbourne and its regions

The city of Melbourne is situated on Port Phillip Bay.
The inner city itself is known as the Central Business
District (CBD). Traditionally a commercial and retail
district, it is now becoming increasingly popular as a
residential area. The suburbs radiate from the CBD.

Figure 2: Map of Melbourne

Diggers Rest


Roxburgh Park

Taylors Lakes

Pascoe Vale

Deer Park


Melbourne CBD
South Melbourne

Point Cook


Box Hill

St Kilda




Ferntree Gully



Port Phillip Bay

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

Bayside suburbs

How to find your new home

The bayside suburbs stretch south from the CBD along

the eastern edge of Port Phillip Bay. Close to the city
are the popular areas of Port Melbourne and St Kilda.
These are very fashionable suburbs among young people
and are renowned for their restaurants, bars and nightlife.
Further out are some of Melbournes most exclusive areas
in Brighton, Hampton and Sandringham. Houses located
near the beach are some of Melbournes most expensive,
and these suburbs offer a very attractive family lifestyle.

For an overview of particular suburbs in Melbourne,

there are two websites which offer free suburb reports:
reareports.realestate.com.au or

Inner eastern suburbs

The inner eastern suburbs also contain some of
Melbournes most exclusive areas. Toorak is Melbournes
most expensive suburb (median house price approximately
$2.4m), with its vast array of large houses and beautiful
tree-lined streets. Further out, suburbs such as Hawthorn,
Kew and Camberwell are slightly more affordable and
very attractive areas for families. Many of Melbournes
best private schools are located in this region.

Inner north/west suburbs

The inner northern and western suburbs are viewed
by many in Melbourne as a good place in which to live
and invest. Historically industrial and blue-collar areas,
they are currently undergoing a transformation. Suburbs
such as Kensington and Yarraville are considered to be
Melbournes up-and-comers. They are very close to the
city, are well-serviced and are still relatively well-priced.

Outer suburbs
As you travel further from Melbourne, property generally
becomes less expensive. At the same time, houses in
these suburbs are on larger blocks of land and provide
more space for families. In the east, the suburbs stretch
out to the picturesque Dandenong Ranges. The outer
northern and western suburbs are generally Melbournes
most affordable. There are many new developments in
these regions that offer affordable housing and a rich
community life.

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

Most property for sale or rent throughout Melbourne is

listed at www.realestate.com.au or www.domain.com.au.
Both of these websites show properties that are listed by
hundreds of different agents. They are quite detailed and
usually include photographs of the home, as well as full
details of the property and the lease or purchase price.
Most residential property in Melbourne is sold through
auction, and therefore prices listed are only indicative.

Serviced apartments
Serviced apartments are fully furnished and ready to
live in. Many newcomers pre-book a serviced apartment
before they move to Melbourne to allow themselves time
to search for a more permanent home. Prices range from
around $85 to $500 a night. Generally, a cheaper rate is
available if you stay longer. Most serviced apartments are
located in the inner and bayside suburbs. The following
websites provide listings of serviced apartments:

Shared accommodation
Depending on your circumstances, you might find it
easier to apply to share accommodation, rather than
renting a house or apartment on your own. In Victoria,
people who rent or own houses sometimes rent out a
single room. You can also apply together to rent a home
as a group. Rooms to rent are sometimes advertised on
notice boards in local shops, post offices and libraries
or on the following websites:

There are many options in Melbourne when it comes to
furnishing your home. Some rental homes are advertised
as fully furnished. In such cases you will not need to
purchase major items of furniture, but you may still
require some smaller items, such as kitchen utensils, etc.
If you are only going to be in Melbourne for a limited
time you may wish to consider renting your furniture.
There are many retailers that offer this service. Some
retailers that specialise in furniture rentals include:
Pabs Furniture Rentals, www.pabs.com.au,
1800 201 020 (from overseas: +61 3 9813 0966) and
Compleat Interiors, www.compleatinteriors.com.au,
+61 3 9427 0188.
Furniture stores are generally able to organise delivery
of your purchases. For short-term accommodation or basic
homewares, there are many second-hand and discount
furniture stores throughout Melbourne.

Melbourne is widely recognised as the shopping capital

of Australia. Leading-edge designers and world-renowned
furniture retailers abound throughout Melbourne and its
suburbs. From traditional furniture to modern classics and
design masterpieces, you are sure to find exactly what you
are after to furnish your home. Popular stores include:
IKEA, Freedom, Living Edge, Hub Furniture, Gainsville,
Domayne, Hermon & Hermon and many more local and
international brands.
Unless specifically stated, homes for rent, whether houses
or apartments, do not come furnished. You will need
to buy or rent your own furniture and appliances. Your
real estate agent can advise exactly what is, and is not,
provided with the home.

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

3. Childcare and education



Childcare refers to services for pre-school aged children

and out-of-school-hours care for school-aged children.
There are three forms of childcare available: regular care,
occasional care and playgroups. All centres providing
care or education for five or more children, without their
parents present, must be licensed in Victoria. Childcare
services in Victoria are regulated by the Department of
Education and Early Childhood Development. To find out
more, visit www.education.vic.gov.au/ecsmanagement.

Playgroups are organisations where parents or carers

attend with their children. This is helpful for parents who
wish to remain with their children, yet also want to meet
other parents and have their children meet other children.
These groups are largely self-directed, and parents
generally take a more active role than in other childcare
forms. To find out more information regarding playgroups
visit Playgroup Victoria, at www.playgroup.org.au or
call +61 3 9388 1599.

For a list of childcare centres by region visit



Regular care
Regular care consists of two different types of care for
children on a regularly scheduled basis:
 amily day care
Family day care is a system where up to five children
are cared for in a carers own home. This form of care is
less formal and structured than other kinds. Carers must
qualify to look after children, but they are not licensed in
the same way as centres. This is a less expensive form of
childcare. Family day care is coordinated by councils.
Centre-based long day care
This care is provided in centres throughout Melbourne
and Victoria. These centres usually offer more structure
and education for young children, and are operated
by qualified staff. Centres usually operate for at least
eight hours a day, and cater for children from four weeks
to five years of age. Generally, costs range from $40 to
$80 a day for council-run centres and $55 to $110 for
private centres. Waiting lists often apply for a place in
day care centres.

Occasional care
Occasional care allows children to be left in care on
an irregular basis, usually for a short period of time.
Occasional care centres are run by local councils
and sessions are usually between two and three hours
in length and costs range from $14 to $25 per session.
Contact your council for more information on
occasional care.

The Victorian kindergarten program is usually a

one-year program prior to entry to school, although
some kindergartens offer a two-year program. All four
year olds have the opportunity to attend kindergarten.
At kindergarten, children develop the social, mental
and physical skills they need in preparation for school.

There are 13 years of school in Victoria, which are divided
into primary and secondary. School is compulsory for all
children between the ages of six and fifteen. The school
year runs on the calendar year, beginning in late January
and ending prior to Christmas, in December.
Children must be five years of age by the 30th of April of
the year they start school. The first year is a preparatory
year, known as prep. This is followed by grades one
through to six.
Children then begin secondary, or high school, at which
stage they are usually 12 years old. Secondary school
begins with year seven and goes through to year
twelve. In their final two years students complete the
Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). The VCE is a
certificate that recognises the successful completion of
secondary education. VCE results also allow for entry
to further education.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) is becoming
increasingly popular in Victoria. As well as being an
approved alternative to the VCE, students who obtain
the IB are also eligible for admission to universities in
110 countries worldwide. There are 11 schools in
Melbourne and a further five in regional Victoria that
currently offer the IB. For information on schools that offer
the IB, visit the Association of Australasian International
Baccalaureate Schools at www.aaibs.org.

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

The majority of schools in Victoria teach one or more

languages other than English. There are 12 government
schools that offer dedicated bilingual programs. In these
schools, listed in Table 2, students are taught some of
their regular classes in a foreign language.

There are also schools for children with disabilities and

special needs, although the Victorian education system
follows a policy of integration, whereby students with
special needs attend regular schools and receive the
assistance they require within their school where possible.

There are also many additional foreign language

childcare centres and community schools that offer
tuition in languages outside of the regular school hours,
for example, in the evenings or on weekends. For more
information on those available in your area, contact
your local council (details in Chapter 11).

Various documents are required to enrol your child in

school in Victoria. These include a birth certificate, recent
school reports, a letter from either their current school
principal or teacher (two copies for each child),
a copy of the current and subsequent years curriculum,
prescriptions and current medical records, educational
assessments and immunisation certificates for measles,
mumps, rubella, diphtheria, polio and tetanus, whooping
cough and Haemophilus influenza type B.

Most students in Victoria (65 per cent) attend

government/state schools. Parents of students at these
schools are asked to pay a voluntary fee, ranging from
a few hundred to around a thousand dollars. This fee is
not compulsory. The state school system is an excellent
system that prepares children well for further education
and their adult working life. Students are generally
allocated a school according to the region in which
they live.
To find information about schools in a particular area, visit
Schools Online at www.education.vic.gov.au/findaservice/
Home.aspx. This website lists all government and
non-government schools. International students are
required to pay fees. International student status depends
on visa type and residency status. For government
schools, fees range from $9,210 per year for primary,
to $12,210 per year for years seven through ten, and
up to $13,640 per year for years eleven and twelve.
In addition to government schools, Melbourne also
has many private schools (which are classified as
either Independent or Catholic). Fees for private
schools vary widely and can be up to $25,000 a year.
Scholarships to many of these schools are available
for academic, sporting or musical excellence, as well
as financial hardship in certain circumstances. Visit the
Association of Independent Schools of Victoria website
at www.independentschools.vic.edu.au or the
Catholic Education Commission Victoria at


Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

To learn more about the Victorian education system

visit www.education.vic.gov.au or call 1800 809 834
(from overseas: +61 3 9637 2000). Other useful websites
for international students are:

Tertiary education
Upon completion of the VCE, students may elect to
enrol in tertiary or further education. Melbourne is
renowned for its universities and world-class research
institutions across all fields. Most courses are taught at an
undergraduate level. Victoria has nine public universities,
and one private university. For more information visit
www.education.vic.gov.au or call +61 3 9637 2000.
As with school, international students are required to
pay full fees for university. Local students are eligible for
government-supported university places, which are funded
by the Australian Government, and require only a partial
contribution from the student. This portion can be paid
upfront by the student, or payment can be deferred.
Under this system, students access an interest-free loan
from the Australian Government through the Higher
Education Loan Payment (HELP) system. The loan is
repaid after the student graduates, once their income passes
a minimum repayment threshold. Fees vary according to
the course of study. Check with individual universities.
Visit www.studyassist.gov.au for more information.

Table 2: Government schools with a bilingual program



Phone number


Abbotsford Primary School


+61 3 9428 5977


Aurora School


+61 3 8878 9878


Bayswater South Primary School German

+61 3 9729 2862


Benalla East Primary School


+61 3 5762 1646


Camberwell Primary School


+61 3 9882 4663


Caulfield Primary School


+61 3 9523 7932


Footscray Primary School


+61 3 9687 1910


Gruyere Primary School


+61 3 5964 9260


Huntingdale Primary School


+61 3 9544 2318


Kennington Primary School


+61 3 5443 2011


Lalor North Primary School

Greek; Macedonian

+61 3 9465 4922


Richmond West Primary School

Chinese; Vietnamese

+61 3 9429 2950


*Auslan is the Australian Sign Language, and it is the official language of the deaf community of Australia

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia


International students are not eligible for governmentsupported places. They must apply as full-fee paying
students. This can cost up to $30,000 a year but varies
greatly depending on the university and the course.
Whether you or your children are eligible for a
government-supported place in university will depend
on visa and residency status, as in the school system.
TAFE (Technical and Further Education) provides more
practical training and apprenticeships for post-secondary
students. TAFE courses are less expensive than university
courses and graduates receive relevant qualifications
recognised in workplaces throughout the country.
To find out more, visit:


Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

4. Health and welfare


Ambulance and emergencies

Most regular health services, such as doctors, hospital

care and optometry, are available free of charge through
the Medicare system which is funded by the Australian
Government. However, as a new entrant to Australia you
will not immediately be eligible for Medicare services.
To be eligible for Medicare, you must be an Australian
citizen, have a permanent visa or have applied for a
permanent visa.

The telephone number for emergency services throughout

Australia is 000. Dial this number for ambulance, fire
brigade and police emergencies. It is important to note
however, that the ambulance is not free. If you have
private health insurance it may cover ambulance costs,
but it is important to check with your insurer exactly what
is provided. For example, some policies may provide
ambulance cover for only one occasion per year, and you
may have to pay for any subsequent ambulance trips in
the same year. A single ambulance trip can easily cost over
$1,000. To be protected from the cost of ambulance services
you need to become an ambulance member. Membership
costs $38 for single and $76 for families for a year.
To find out more, visit www.ambulance-vic.com.au
or call 1800 64 84 84 (from overseas: +61 3 9840 3500).

New Zealand residents are eligible for Medicare and

Australia has reciprocal health care agreements with
the Republic of Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Finland,
Norway, the Netherlands, Malta, Belgium, Slovenia
and Italy. Residents of these countries may be eligible
for some Medicare services. To find out more visit
www.humanservices.gov.au (or call 132 011, or from
overseas +61 3 6222 3455).

Australias health system and insurance

Australia has a dual health care system. That is, there are
both public and private health care systems that operate
in unison. Public services are available to those eligible
for Medicare free of charge or at minimal cost. As a
newcomer, if you are not covered by Medicare, you will
be required to pay the full price for your health care needs.
A standard consultation with a doctor costs around $50.
Other consultations, for example with specialists, cost
significantly more. Many Australians also take out private
health insurance on top of Medicare, as it offers extra
services not covered by Medicare.
Private health insurance is recommended if you are not
eligible for Medicare. If you hold a temporary visa, you
may be required to take out Overseas Visitors Health
Cover or Overseas Student Health Cover. Furthermore,
Australian taxpayers who earn more than $84,000 a year
and do not have private health insurance are required
to pay an extra one per cent tax as a surcharge. To find
out more about private health insurance, visit the
Australian Governments Private Health Insurance
Administration Council (PHIAC), at www.phiac.gov.au
or call +61 2 6215 7900.
There are many private health insurers throughout
Australia and policies and prices vary. For a list of different
insurance providers and to compare policies and prices,
visit www.iselect.com.au.

Melbourne has many excellent hospitals. To view a list of
hospitals and health services in Melbourne and in rural
and regional Victoria, visit www.health.vic.gov.au. Many
hospitals have emergency or casualty wards where you
can receive after-hours medical care if required. Both
public and private hospitals operate in Victoria. You will
require private health insurance to be treated in a private
hospital, otherwise you will have to pay the whole cost.
Before purchasing a private health insurance policy, it
is important to understand exactly how much cover it
provides. Even with private health insurance, you may
be required to pay an excess or a fee to cover the gap
between what the hospital charges and the amount for
which you are covered by your health insurance.

Social welfare services are provided through the
Australian Governments Department of Human
Services (DHS). DHS can help you with social security
payments, benefits such as family tax and childcare
benefits. Many services are only available to citizens or
permanent residents. Further information can be found
on the Migrants, refugees and visitors section of the
DHS website www.humanservices.gov.au. You will also
find a link here to help you find material and services in
languages other than English.

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia



Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

5. Finance
The unit of currency in Australia is the Australian
dollar (A$). There are 100 cents in a dollar. Cash-based
transactions and cheques are declining in popularity
Australians commonly use credit and debit cards as well
as online payments for most major purchases and paying
bills. As of November 2012, A$1 is worth approximately
US$0.96. To find todays foreign exchange rate for your
chosen currency, visit www.x-rates.com.
Melbourne ranked affordable 15th among 214 cities across
five continents in Mercers 2012 Worldwide Cost of Living
survey, measuring the comparative cost of over 200 items
in each location, including housing, transport, food,
clothing, household goods and entertainment. Average
weekly earnings for full-time workers in 2012 are $1352.
Earnings vary widely across industry sectors and between
public and private sectors also. On average, the highest
paying sectors are mining and financial services. The
minimum wage, set in July 2012, is $606.40 per week.

Australia has a deregulated finance industry, with many
international financial service providers. Melbourne has
over 30 different banks. The four major banks in Australia
are National Australia Bank (NAB), Commonwealth Bank,
ANZ Bank, Bank of Melbourne and Westpac. All banks offer
a wide range of services to help you manage your money.
Opening a bank account when you first arrive is simple.
Within the first six weeks of arrival all you need to open
an account is your passport. Following this period,
you will be required to complete the 100 point check.
This is an identity test used by banks to ensure the
security of your funds. To reach 100 points of identity
you need a drivers licence or other secondary form
of identity, as well as your passport.
For everyday banking procedures you may elect to
visit your local branch. However, many banks will
charge fees for such transactions. Basic procedures such
as withdrawing cash and depositing cheques can be
completed at Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), which are
less expensive than visiting a branch. You can withdraw
money from any ATM using your debit card, however
you may be charged a fee for using an ATM belonging to a
different bank. Internet banking is also popular. By setting
up internet banking systems you are able to transfer money,
pay bills and view statements. Internet banking transactions
are usually free or relatively cheap.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission

(ASIC) is the official government body responsible for
administering regulation for financial services. They look
after corporate and consumer interests. For example, they
ensure that all banks follow the correct procedures, which
ensures your money is properly protected. The most useful
site for individuals is www.moneysmart.gov.au, which
outlines the conditions that banking and other financial
services adhere to throughout Australia. You can also call
them on 1300 300 630 or from overseas +61 3 5177 3988.

Like most countries around the world, the tax system has
many intricacies. Visit the ASIC site mentioned above
for tips. However, if you have in-depth questions and
concerns about the tax system, we recommend that you
see a tax specialist or accountant. Tax is collected by the
Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Visit www.ato.gov.au to
find out more about taxation in Australia or call 132 865 or
from overseas +61 2 6216 1111.
Anybody who earns money in Australia must have a Tax
File Number (TFN). You can apply for a TFN online from the
ATO, by phone or in person at the ATO office. It is important
to do this early after your arrival. It is also important
to provide your bank with your TFN when opening an
account, as this will reduce certain fees and charges.
Personal income tax is levied on a sliding scale. Australian
residents are not taxed on the first $18,200 earned in any
one year this is called the tax-free threshold. You may
not be classed as an Australian resident if you have been
living in Australia less than 6 months, meaning tax is
payable on every dollar earned. The standards used to
classify you as a resident for tax purposes are not the same
as those used for classification for your immigration and
visa status.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a tax of 10 per cent
on most goods and services purchased (known as a valueadded tax, or VAT, in some countries). The GST is included
within an items price. That is, the advertised or sticker
price is the price you will pay at the register. When you
receive your receipt of purchase, it will state how much
GST you have paid for the items. GST does not apply to
most food, education, health services and eligible childcare,
as well as a range of other staple goods and services.

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia




Australia has a mandated pension savings scheme known

as superannuation, which is recognised world-wide as
an innovative model for ensuring people have adequate
finances during their retirement. This system requires
all employers to pay their employees an additional nine
per cent of their wages into an approved superannuation
fund. This fund is invested on behalf of the employee
by the superannuation provider and cannot be accessed
until retirement. You have the right to choose the
superannuation fund into which your entitlements
are paid. You may also elect to pay extra money into
your superannuation.

Health insurance is covered in the Health and Welfare

section of this guide. It is perhaps the most important form
of insurance for newcomers who are not usually covered
by Australias public health care system, Medicare. Home
and contents insurance is available through private
providers to protect your home and possessions.

Foreign workers are also entitled to superannuation

payments. The money can usually be transferred upon
your return home. Check with the Australian Tax Office
or your employer for more details.
The ASIC website also has an informative publication
about recent changes to the superannuation system.
For more information visit www.moneysmart.gov.au
or www.ato.gov.au.

Information on car insurance is provided in the Transport

section of this guide. Discounts are often available if
you choose to take out multiple combined policies with
the one provider, for example, using the same insurance
provider for both your car insurance and your home and
contents insurance.
ASIC also regulates the insurance industry. You can
search their site for more information about insurance
at www.moneysmart.gov.au.
For a list of many different insurance providers and
to compare policies and prices, visit www.iselect.com.au.

Table 3: Tax rates for 2012-13

Taxable income

Tax on this income residents

Tax on this income non-residents

$0 $18,200


32.5c for each $1

$18,201 $37,000

19c for each $1 over $18,200

32.5c for each $1

$37,001 $80,000

$3,572 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $37,000

32.5c for each $1

$80,001 $180,000

$17,547 plus 37c for each $1 over $80,000

$26,000 plus 37c for each $1 over $80,000

$180,001 and over

$54,547 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000

$63,000 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000

The above rates do not include the Medicare levy of 1.5 per cent (which non-residents are not required to pay)
Source: Australian Taxation Office


Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia



Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

6. Entering the country

It is important you have all the necessary travel documents
and are holding the correct visa when you enter Australia.
Immigration in Australia and related issues are controlled
by the Federal Department of Immigration and Citizenship
(DIAC). To find out everything you need to know about
visas and immigration, visit www.immi.gov.au or call
131 881 from within Australia. If you are overseas, go to
the website above to find the contact details for the DIAC
office in your country.
The Victorian Government, through the Skilled Migration
Program, provides business migration services to assist
business migrants who want to live and conduct business
in Victoria and provides skilled migration services to assist
highly skilled and experienced overseas people to migrate
to Victoria. To discover the full range of services available
to you, visit www.liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au or call
+61 3 9651 9756 for Skilled Migration Enquires and
+ 61 3 9651 9743 for Business Migration Enquires.

Customs and quarantine

There are strict laws governing what you are and are not
allowed to bring into Australia. In particular, products
that may bring in foreign pests and diseases are closely
regulated. When you arrive, you will go through
customs, where all the items you bring will be checked.
Customs will require a declaration of all goods that may
be restricted. These items will be made clear to you by
customs officials. Customs officials may quarantine some
goods for a specified period. A charge to clean certain
goods may need to be paid in order to bring them
into the country. This specifically relates to goods made
from, or that have been in contact with, animal, plant
and wood products.
To find out more about what you can and cannot bring
into Australia, visit the Australian Customs Service,
at www.customs.gov.au or call 1300 363 263 or from
overseas +61 2 9313 3010.
The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service
determines which products will be quarantined to protect
the Australian environment. Visit www.daff.gov.au/aqis
or call 1800 020 504 or from overseas +61 2 6272 3933.

The guidelines for bringing a pet into Australia are very

stringent and it is a lengthy process. You need to plan
early and check with regulations and service providers
in your home country as well as Australian regulations.
The amount of time your pet must spend in quarantine
upon arrival is dependent upon the country from which
you are arriving.
Pets usually spend 30 or 60 days in quarantine upon
their arrival in Australia, at their owners expense.
This will amount to around $1005 for a cat and $1305
for a dog for 30-days quarantine and significantly more
for longer stays. For more information visit
www.daff.gov.au/aqis/cat-dogs or call +61 2 6272 4454.

Learning the language

English is the official language throughout Australia.
Victoria in general, and Melbourne in particular, is a very
multicultural place. People from over 200 countries live
here, speaking over 230 different languages and dialects.
DIAC runs the Adult Migration English Program (AMEP).
This provides new migrants with up to 510 hours of basic
English language tuition. Eligibility for AMEP will depend
upon your residential status in Australia. To find out
more visit www.immi.gov.au. Information is available in
many different languages. Call DIACs general inquiries
line on 131 881.
There are approximately 45 AMEP service providers
in greater Melbourne and another 25 in regional
Victoria. There are two groups that deliver classroom,
community based, distance learning and home tutor
scheme services throughout Victoria. The northern
Melbourne region is serviced by the Northern AMEP
Consortium. Call 1300 062 314 for details. Services in
all other regions western, southern, central, eastern
Melbourne and regional Victoria are delivered
through the Adult Multicultural Education Services
Consortium. Visit www.ames.net.au or call 132 637
or from overseas +61 3 9938 4000, for details of
services available in your area.
Government agencies provide an interpreter for
non-English speakers to use their services through
the Translating and Interpreting Service, call 131 450.

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia



Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

7. Essential home services

The essential services of water, electricity and gas
(utilities) are private in Victoria, and regulated by the
Victorian Governments Essential Services Commission.
For more information visit www.esc.vic.gov.au or call
+61 3 9651 0222 or 1300 664 969.
There is one water provider per area, but a number of
different providers for gas and electricity. For assistance
choosing a service provider for gas and electricity go
to www.yourchoice.vic.gov.au or call the Essential
Services Commission.

Table 4: Major essential service providers






131 245

Origin Energy


132 461

Energy Australia


131 502

Red Energy


131 806



131 245

Origin Energy


132 461

Energy Australia


131 502

City West Water


131 691

South East Water


131 694

Yarra Valley Water


131 721




There are many different telecommunications providers
in Melbourne. Telstra is the largest provider, but there
are many other options including major international
telecommunications providers, Vodafone and Optus.
Providers offer discounts for combining your home
phone, mobile phone and internet services. High-speed
broadband internet is available in most metropolitan
areas. There are hundreds of internet service providers
(ISPs) available across Australia. The following websites
list many different ISPs and can help you find the best
deal for your needs:

Internet services are often based upon 12 or 24-month

contracts and charge a monthly rate which allows
download of a certain amount of material at a certain
speed. There are often high exit fees if you decide to
terminate the contract before it is complete. Melbourne
is also well-serviced by wireless broadband networks
and third generation (3G) communications technology.
Melbourne has a number of internet cafes throughout
the city with wireless connectivity.
The National Broadband Network (NBN) is being built
to bring high speed broadband and telephone services
within the reach of all Australian premises. Within the
next decade, the plan is for every home, school and
workplace in the country to have access to the NBN.
Some suburbs of Victoria are already connected to the
NBN with more to be connected in the next three years.
Visit www.nbnco.com.au
International phone call rates vary from country to
country and also depend on your service provider and
the plan you are on. Many people find that purchasing an
overseas calling card offers the cheapest service. There are
many different types available and sold at retail outlets,
especially newsagents and convenience stores. When
using these, you will dial a local number, which will then
connect you to the international network at a reduced
rate usually only a few cents per minute. Otherwise,
to make an international call without a calling card, first
dial 0011 followed by the country code, area code and
phone number.
Consumer Affairs Victoria, a division within the
Department of Justice, provides information and advice
for all issues related to phones and internet access.
Visit www.consumer.vic.gov.au.
If you choose to rent your home, selection and
connection of essential services is usually made easy
for you by your real estate agent. They will put you in
touch with services that can advise on and organise the
connection of utilities for your new home. Connection
of gas, electricity, water and phone can be arranged by
ConnectNow or UtilityOne. This is a free service that
makes it easy to choose your provider and get connected.
You will still be charged individual connection fees by
each individual service provider.
Visit ConnectNow at www.connectnow.com.au or call
1300 554 323 or UtilityOne at www.utilityone.com.au
or call 1300 076 377.

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia



Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

8. Transport
Getting around Melbourne is made easy by the citys
excellent, integrated system of public transport and roads.

Public transport
Public transport throughout Melbourne is well-serviced,
inexpensive and reliable. Melbourne is home to one of
the best-connected and most modern systems anywhere
in the world. As Melburnians become increasingly
environmentally conscious, public transport is becoming
the clear favourite for many.
Victorian public transport is coordinated by the
Department of Transport. For more information visit
There are three forms of public transport operating
throughout Melbourne train, tram (trolley/streetcar) and
bus. Tickets are transferable across all forms of transport.
The network is divided into two zones, based on distance
from the city centre. The price of the fare depends upon
the zone(s) in which you wish to travel and the duration
of your travel.
Melbourne has moved to a new ticketing system called
myki. myki is a reusable smartcard that automatically
calculates the best fare for your journey. All you have
to do is touch on when you get on and off services. myki
works across trains, trams and buses throughout Victoria.
myki cards can be ordered online at www.myki.com.au
or by calling 13 myki (13 6954). They are also available for
purchase from selected retail outlets, from metropolitan
train stations and from selected tram platform stops and
bus interchanges. Failure to purchase or validate the
correct ticket can result in a fine
Children under three years of age can travel for free on
Melbournes public transport. Concession tickets are
available to children over three years of age, students
with travel cards and entitlements, holders of approved
concession cards, and for seniors.
Metro Trains operates the citys metropolitan train
network with 15 train lines and 215 stations radiating
out from the city centre at the historic Flinders Street
Station. Trains are the quickest form of public transport
in Melbourne. Yarra Trams operates Melbournes tram
network. The tram routes are more concentrated in the
city and inner suburbs, however some outer suburbs are
serviced by tram routes. Tram stops are located much
closer together than train stations are, making them
slower but more accessible.
The free City Circle tourist tram operates in Melbournes
CBD. The route passes major tourist attractions in both
directions approximately every twelve minutes 10am-6pm
Sunday to Wednesday and 10am-9pm Thursday, Friday
and Saturday. The bus network runs in the city and into
the outer suburbs, beyond where the tram lines terminate.

The Melbourne Visitor Shuttle is a popular, free bus

service that operates daily every 30 minutes from 9.30am
to 4.30pm.The trip takes approximately 90 minutes and
includes an informative on-board commentary as you
travel around Melbourne. You can hop on and off the bus
at any of the 13 stop locations. For more information visit
Train and tram services operate between Monday and
Saturday from 5am to 1am and on Sunday from 7am to
midnight. Bus service operating hours vary in different
suburbs. A special late-night bus service, called the
NightRider, operates on Friday and Saturday nights from
midnight until regular services recommence the next
morning. Extra late-night tram services also run on Friday
and Saturday nights.

Public Transport Victoria

Public Transport Victoria (PTV) is the one-stop-shop for
information about services, fares and ticketing for the
citys trains, trams and buses. To make travelling on public
transport easier, PTV provides an online journey planner,
customer call centre, timetables and pocket guides, and
way-finding signage. For information on Melbournes
trains, trams and buses call 1800 800 007 or visit
Melbournes public transport information booklets are
also available in many different languages. You can call
1800 800 007 to have a copy sent out to you.

Taxis (cabs) are readily available throughout Melbourne
and Victoria. They are a quick and reliable form of
transport. Taxis are easily recognisable by their bright
yellow colour. Fares are metered so you can easily see how
much your trip will cost you as you go. A phone booking
fee of $2.10 applies while there is also a late night fee of $3
for fares between midnight and 6am. Pre-payment of fares
is required for all taxi trips taken between 10pm and 5am.
As well as being pre-booked over the phone, taxis can be
hailed on the street or picked up at a specified taxi rank,
found throughout the CBD. Check the Yellow Pages or
White Pages directory for taxi listings:
All taxis must be registered and the driver must display
his or her registration identification in the car. Regulation
of taxis and other hire cars is controlled by the Victorian
Taxi Directorate, a division of the Department of
Transport. Visit: www.transport.vic.gov.au and follow
the link to Taxis and hire vehicles.

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia


Melbourne has an excellent network of high quality roads.
VicRoads is the government organisation that is in charge
of building and maintaining roads, as well as monitoring
licensing and registration of vehicles. Visit www.vicroads.
vic.gov.au or call 131 171 (from overseas: + 61 3 9854 2666).
You must hold a valid licence in order to drive a car on
Victorian roads. If you have a licence from your home
country you may drive with it for six months from the date
your visa was issued. After this time, you must obtain a
Victorian drivers licence. Testing for licences involves a rules
test, eyesight test and an on-the-road driving test. Contact
VicRoads to find more details and book a licence test.
Drivers from the following countries, with a valid licence,
do not need to undertake any tests, but will still need to
visit VicRoads to changeover their existing licence for a
local one: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan,
Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA.
The vehicle you drive must be registered. As with
licensing, this is administered through VicRoads.
All registered cars in Victoria must have a roadworthy
certificate (RWC). This sets out basic minimum safety
standards for vehicles. When you buy a car it must come
with a RWC or you must have it tested by a licensed
RWC tester. A good place to check before deciding to
purchase a car is the Consumer Affairs Victoria website,
www.consumer.vic.gov.au. This will give you information
on everything you need to know, from buying a new or
used car to insurance, repairs and more.
Basic insurance is called third party insurance.
This protects you from the costs involved for any
damage you cause to other people, vehicles or property
in a car accident where you are at fault. This can be
extended to third party, fire and theft. This means
your car is covered if it is damaged by fire or if it is
stolen. The most complete, and therefore most expensive,
type of insurance is comprehensive. This covers all
costs of repair or replacing a vehicle regardless of who is
at fault. Visit the car insurance section of the Australian
Securities and Investments Commissions (ASIC) website
at www.moneysmart.gov.au for more tips and information
on car insurance. For a list of many different insurance
providers and to compare policies and prices, visit


Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) is the

largest body dedicated to car owners and related issues.
They offer roadside service, insurance, vehicle testing and
much more. Visit www.racv.com.au for more information.
All car dealers must be licensed, and this offers you
protection as a consumer. You can also buy cars through
private sales. Even though individuals are not licensed,
they still have to comply with laws to protect you as well
as them. Many people look for cars as well as other goods
in the Trading Post, an online classifieds service available
at www.tradingpost.com.au. Major newspapers also have
classified advertisements for cars and other goods. Other
internet sites to search for used cars include:

Street directories
Melway is the name of the most commonly used
suburban street map. It covers all of Melbourne and its
suburbs, as well as much of regional Victoria. Directions
are often given in terms of their Melway map reference.
Visit Melway at www.melway.com.au. Copies are widely
available for purchase at bookshops, service stations
(petrol/gas stations) and convenience stores and cost about
$45. To view free online street maps and directions, visit:

Driving laws
Driving laws are strictly enforced throughout Victoria
and personal and public safety is a high priority. Driving
under the influence of alcohol and other drugs is not
tolerated and strictly enforced throughout Victoria.
For those with a full licence, blood alcohol must be
below 0.05 per cent, probationary licence holders must
have a 0.0 reading. Random breath testing by police is
common on our roads.
It is also illegal to use a hand-held mobile (cell) phone or
GPS while driving. You must pull over to the side of the
road to use your mobile phone or GPS. The exception is if
the device can be operated by the driver without touching
any part of the phone, but video calls are still prohibited
in this case.

Speeding is not tolerated by police. Penalties, including

fines and loss of licence, apply to those caught breaking
driving laws. Seatbelts are compulsory for drivers and
all passengers.
Click the Safety & Rules link from www.vicroads.vic.gov.au
to download a free copy of Driving in Victoria: rules and
responsibilities. This book can also be purchased in hard
copy for $14.75 from a VicRoads office or online at

There are various different types of fuel (gas) options for
cars. All cars built from 1986 onwards use unleaded fuel.
Cars built prior to 1985 may have originally used leaded
or super fuel. Some service stations (gas/petrol stations)
have lead-free super replacement fuel (leaded fuel is
no longer available). Unleaded fuel is available in two
options at most service stations regular and premium.
Diesel is also widely available as is liquid petroleum
gas (LPG). Many people have cars converted to LPG as
it is cheaper to run. Many service stations are also now
offering unleaded fuel blended with up to 10 per cent
ethanol, which is made from renewable resources. Prices
vary and change frequently, according to global oil prices
and various other factors.
The RACV monitors the price of petrol, showing daily
lows, highs and averages for different petrol types.
For more information visit www.racv.com.au and look
for the link at the top-right of the page.

CityLink is a network of toll roads in Melbourne.
CityLink is divided into two sections, the Southern
and Western Links. It connects various highways to the
tunnels that allow you to travel underneath the Yarra
River and bypass city traffic. CityLink also includes a
part of the highway linking Melbournes Tullamarine
International Airport with the city centre. Visit the
CityLink website at www.citylink.com.au for full
details or call 132 629.
CityLink tolling is fully electronic. That is, there are no
tollbooths and you do not slow down or stop at all to
pay tolls. Regular users can open an account, and receive
a remote monitoring device, called an eTag, to attach to
their car. For occasional use, you can purchase a day pass
before, or up to three days after, travelling on CityLink.

This gives you unlimited access for 24 hours from first

use and costs $14.10. For the same price you can also get
a weekend pass. Passes can be purchased online, over the
phone or in person at many outlets including CityLink
Customer Centres, Australia Post offices and participating
service stations. Failure to do so may result in a fine.

Melbourne is an excellent city for cyclists. Whether you
cycle for pleasure or as your main mode of transport,
Melbourne is safe and easy for cyclists. There are many
dedicated bicycle paths, often giving excellent access to
tourist routes. Most main roads throughout the CBD and
the inner suburbs also have dedicated bicycle lanes to
ensure smooth traffic flow and increase safety for cyclists
when sharing roads with other traffic.
A Public Bike Hire Scheme was launched in innerMelbourne in 2010. The scheme includes 51 stations,
spaced about 300-500 meters apart, housing up to 600
bicycles. People are able to become daily, weekly or yearly
members of the system they receive a smartcard that
holds details of their membership. For more information
see www.melbournebikeshare.com.au.
The VicRoads and Bicycle Victoria websites are excellent
sources of information on everything to do with bicycles.
You can find maps of bicycle paths, cycling safety tips,
road rules for cyclists and much more. Helmets are
compulsory when riding a bicycle throughout Victoria.
For more information, visit:

Airport transfer
The Skybus Super Shuttle is the official transit link
between Melbourne International Airport and Southern
Cross Station in the centre of Melbourne. It runs every
10 minutes, twenty four hours, seven days a week,
including public holidays. It costs $17 one way or
$28 return and the journey takes approximately
20 minutes. Tickets can be purchased online, at the
airport, or Southern Cross Station. Skybus also
operates a free hotel transfer minibus system to
transport you from the Skybus city terminal to your
hotel or motel based in the city. The taxi fare for a trip
from the airport into Melbournes CBD can be up to $50.
For more information, visit www.skybus.com.au.

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia



Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

9. Sport, culture and events

Melbourne is the sports capital of Australia. It hosts
many world-class events, including the Australian Open
Tennis (January), the Australian Formula One Grand Prix
(March), Australian Rules Football (March September)
and the Spring Racing Carnival, incorporating the
Melbourne Cup (October/November).
Melbourne is also home to many world-class sporting
stadiums, all within a 10 minute walk of the CBD.
The historic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) hosts
international cricket in the summer and Australian Rules
Football in the winter, as well as a variety of other sports
and special events. It also houses the National Sports
Museum and Champions: Thoroughbred Racing Gallery.
Visit www.mcg.org.au for more information.
The state-of-the-art Etihad Stadium, located at Docklands,
on the western fringe of the city centre plays host to major
sports and entertainment events.
The new Melbourne Rectangular Stadium (AAMI Park)
features world-first environmental and architectural style and
will host international rugby and football (soccer) matches.
Half of Australias top 10 golf courses are located in
Melbourne and its nearby regions. Melbournes south
eastern suburbs alone are home to over a dozen top-class
courses including Royal Melbourne, home of the 2011
Presidents Cup.
Melbourne also has an excellent network of local sporting
organisations and facilities for every sport you could
imagine. Joining and participating in a local club is easy and
affordable. To find out more, contact your local council. Local
councils operate many different sports clubs themselves and
are also able to put you in touch with privately operated
organisations where you can participate. You can also visit
Sport and Recreation Victoria, a division of the Department
of Planning and Community Development, at www.sport.
vic.gov.au. From this site you can view listings of sporting
organisations of all types as well as other useful information.

Culture and events

Melbourne is the home of cultural and major events in
Australia. The cultural heart of Melbourne is Federation
Square, in the city centre. Federation Square houses the
Ian Potter Centre the Australian section of the National
Gallery of Victoria (NGV), the Australian Centre for
the Moving Image (ACMI) and many bars, cafes and
restaurants. Visit the Atrium on a Saturday to enjoy
Melbournes largest book market.

Federation Square is also home to the Melbourne Visitor

Centre, an excellent place to visit to find out all sorts of
useful information about Melbourne and sites of interest.
The Victorian Arts Centre a short walk across the
Yarra River from the city centre houses concert halls
and theatres. Further along the arts precinct are NGV
International, The Australian Ballet Centre, and many
other theatres and arts centres including the striking
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. These buildings
display some of Melbournes brilliant modern and
classical architecture as well as being superb examples
of functional design.
Standing out with its distinctive white piping, the
Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) is a short walk from
the Victorian Arts Centre. For more information on the
many theatres in Melbourne visit:
Major events in Melbourne include the Australian
International Airshow, the Melbourne International
Comedy Festival, the Melbourne International Film
Festival, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, the
Melbourne International Arts Festival and the list goes on.
There is also much to do and see in Melbournes
immediate surrounds. Victoria is world-renowned for
its exceptional quality wines. Many famous vineyards
and wineries are located within a short hour-and-a-half
drive from Melbourne, in regions such as Geelong, the
Mornington Peninsula and the Yarra Valley.
For adventures further afield, Victoria has many pristine
national parks and beautiful destinations. Not to be
missed are the amazing rock formations in the Grampians
to the North-West, the Great Ocean Road in the SouthWest and the High Country in the North-East, which has
a number of ski resorts open in winter. To find out more
visit Parks Victoria at www.parkweb.vic.gov.au.
For a full list of events and to find out more go to
www.visitvictoria.com or call the Victorian Tourist
Information Service on 132 842. Other sites worth visiting
for more comprehensive listings and information about
whats happening in Melbourne include:

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia



Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

10. Shopping, food and dining out



Melbourne has a vibrant retail shopping and dining

scene. Starting in the city centre, whether you are after
high-end, big-brand fashion or the bargain of a lifetime,
you are sure to come away happy. The top end of Collins
Street (affectionately known as the Paris End) is home
to designer labels including Armani, Gucci, Zegna
and Chanel. The small laneways and alleys are favoured
by many of the locals, and are filled with small,
highly-respected designer boutiques and specialist
accessories stores. There are also two major department
stores in the city, Myer and David Jones, where you
can find everything you need under the one roof.

Melbourne has a large multicultural population and there

are plenty of outlets that supply foods from all nations.

Almost all stores accept major credit cards as well as

cash and EFTPOS (direct debit cards). Many places
accept cheques, although they are less common. General
shopping hours are from 9am 5:30pm weekdays, with
many shops open for extended hours, on Thursday and
Friday, often until 8pm or 9pm. Most stores are also open
on the weekend.
Chadstone Shopping Centre is currently the biggest
shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere , and is
world-renowned as a fashion capital. Chadstone is located
13km (8 miles) southeast of the city, between the Monash
Freeway and Princes Highway. It is easily accessible and
offers plenty of parking. For more information, go to
www.chadstoneshopping.com.au or call +61 3 9563 3355.
There are many other major shopping centres throughout
Melbournes suburbs, including the globally operating
Westfield chain, which began in Australia.
Consumer Affairs Victoria serves to protect consumers
rights when dealing with retailers. They offer information
about what your rights and responsibilities are when
it comes to shopping. They can also tell you what
sort of products and scams to watch out for.
Visit www.consumer.vic.gov.au or call 1300 55 81 81.
In general, exchanges are accepted on faulty products
if you provide a receipt of purchase. Many retailers
also offer an exchange if you change your mind.

Most locals do their regular shopping at a large

supermarket such as Woolworths and Coles. There is
also the Independent Grocers Association (IGA) and
Aldi. Supermarkets are located at most major suburban
shopping precincts.
There are also many large-scale open markets across
Melbourne which offer a huge range of foods and other
products from individual stalls. A must-visit for locals
and visitors alike is the Queen Victoria Market. It is
located on the corner of Elizabeth and Victoria Streets,
at the northern edge of the city centre. It is an important
part of Melbournes history, having opened in 1878. It is
the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere
with around 1000 traders spread over seven hectares
(16 acres) and serves around 10 million people per year.
It is open Tuesday and Thursday from 6am 2pm, Friday
6am 5pm, Saturday 6am 3pm and Sunday 9am 4pm.
It is closed on Monday and Wednesday. It is also has a
night market on Wednesday evenings in the summer
months. Visit www.qvm.com.au or call +61 3 9320 5822.
South Melbourne Market is located on the corner of
Cecil and Coventry Streets in South Melbourne, just five
minutes from the city centre by car. It is open Wednesday,
Saturday and Sunday 8am 4pm and Friday 8am 6pm.
Like the Queen Victoria Market, it also has a long and rich
history. Visit www.southmelbournemarket.com.au or
call +61 3 9209 6295.
The Preston Market is located on Murray St in Preston
10 kilometres north of the city. It is open Wednesday
8am 3pm, Thursday 8am 6pm, Friday 8am 8pm and
Saturday 8am 3pm. Visit www.prestonmarket.com.au
or call +61 3 9478 3130 for more details.
The Prahran Market is also a very large and historic
market located on Commercial Road, South Yarra, in the
inner southern suburbs. It is open on Tuesday, Thursday
and Saturday from 7am 5pm, Friday 7am 6pm and
Sunday 10am 3pm. It is closed Monday and Wednesday.
Visit www.prahranmarket.com.au or call +61 3 8290 8220
for more information.

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia


Dining out
Melbourne is regarded as a food lovers capital. As well
as shopping for specialty foods, dining out is a popular
pastime. Whatever your preference for dining, Melbourne
has many excellent restaurants, cafes, bars and more
to offer. There are thousands of places to eat in the city
and throughout the suburbs. All tastes are catered for.
The hardest part is picking which place to try first!
Many restaurants are open all day; others may only open
for lunch and dinner, or some for breakfast and lunch.
Depending on the restaurant you may need to make a
reservation as some popular restaurants are often booked
out weeks in advance. Cafes are generally more casual
and you can usually walk in off the street and get a table.
Some restaurants in Melbourne are BYO (bring your
own). This means you can bring your own alcohol
usually limited to bottles of wine or beer. You are then
charged corkage, which is a small fee added to the bill
for this service.
Tipping in restaurants is common throughout
Melbourne, but not essential. As a general rule, a tip
of around 10 per cent is standard for good service.
Tipping is less common in cafes and bars, and is not
usually expected for most other services.
Smoking is banned by law in all indoor public areas,
including shopping centres, anywhere food is served,
bars and nightclubs, but is allowed in some open-air
spaces, making rooftop bars and outdoor dining popular
with smokers. Outdoor (or al fresco) dining is common
throughout Melbourne, particularly in the warm,
summer months. It is also becoming increasingly
popular year-round, with many streets lit up with
large heaters to keep you comfortable as you eat
outside at night and in the cooler months.


Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

Some dining precincts you may like to visit include:

Chinatown: Little Bourke Street, between Exhibition
Street and Swanston Street, CBD
Greek: Lonsdale Street, around Russell Street and
surrounds, CBD
Italian: Lygon Street, Carlton
Vietnamese: Victoria Street, Richmond
Spanish/Latin American: Johnston St, Fitzroy
Other popular areas for dining and shopping include:
Brunswick Street, Fitzroy a haunt for students,
bohemians and the hip, alternative crowd
Fitzroy Street, St Kilda home to some upmarket
restaurants on Port Phillip Bay
Toorak Road and Chapel Street, South Yarra
the location of many high quality restaurants and
high-end boutiques
Hardware Lane for a cultured, al fresco dining
experience, located in the CBD between Elizabeth
and Queen Streets, and Lonsdale and Bourke Streets.
Two popular books listing Melbournes favourite
restaurants, both published by The Age newspaper, are
the Good Food Guide and the Cheap Eats Guide. Both
are widely available at bookstores and newsagencies.
There are also many websites and blogs that can help
you choose from the vast array of dining choices in
and around Melbourne. Some helpful websites are:

Melbournes nightlife is as exciting and vibrant as
anywhere in the world. As with food and shopping,
there are so many choices there is bound to be something
to suit everybodys taste.
There are various bars all across Melbourne. Melburnians
are particularly fond of the many small bars in and around
the city centre. These can be found in quiet laneways,
above retail shops, in basements, on rooftops and almost
anywhere else you can imagine. They can be hard to find
at first, but your search will always be rewarded.
Melbourne is also famous for its live music scene.
On any night of the week you can see any type of music
you like. Melbourne has a history of supporting small,
independent bands and helping them grow and flourish
to an international presence. Some favourite venues for
live bands around the city include:

The worlds biggest rock bands also make Melbourne an

important stop as part of their world tours, often playing
to packed-out crowds of 50,000 or more at stadiums such
as the MCG or Etihad Stadium. Jazz bands can be seen
at specialist clubs, such as Bennetts Lane in the CBD or
Dizzys in Richmond in the inner eastern suburbs.
These venues are licensed and you must be 18, with
identification, to enter. There are also many under-18
concerts and nightclubs across Melbourne. For more
details and listings of whats on:

CBD: the Forum, Ding Dong Lounge, the Palace

St Kilda: the Esplanade Hotel, the Prince of Wales
Fitzroy: the Empress, the Evelyn, the Spanish Club
Richmond: The Corner Hotel

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia



Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

11. Community, multiculturalism and local government

Victoria has a population of about 5.6 million,
approximately four million of whom live in greater
metropolitan Melbourne. Melbournes population is
one of the most diverse societies anywhere in the world.
No matter where you are from, with people from over
200 countries speaking over 230 languages and dialects
and following over 130 faiths, youre sure to find a local
community of people from your background.
One quarter of Victorians were born overseas. Add to that
the 20 per cent of Australian-born Victorians who have at
least one parent born overseas and that means almost half
of Victorias residents are either migrants or the children
of migrants. As a result, Victoria is an open society that
respects and appreciates the contributions of people
from all backgrounds and how they have enriched our
communities and society as a whole.
The agency that deals specifically with multiculturalism
is the Victorian Multicultural Commission. Visit
www.multicultural.vic.gov.au or call +61 3 9651 0651.
The sites Community Directory lists organisations and
associations for different cultural and ethnic groups in
Victoria. It is an extremely valuable resource for those
requiring assistance and support or just looking to make
networks with people who share their culture.
Information Victoria is an excellent source of materials
for all government-related services. Their publications
are available online at www.information.vic.gov.au
or from their bookshop at Level 20, 80 Collins Street,
in the CBD, call 1300 366 356.
Victoria is divided into 79 local government areas.
Of these areas, 48 make up regional Victoria and the
remaining 31 make up the Melbourne metropolitan region.
Each local government area is administered by a local
council. Your local council is a good source of information
on available services. They can also provide referrals to
other appropriate organisations within your community.
If they cannot provide you with a service, they are always
able to point you in the right direction, as they will know
exactly what is available within your local community.

Community Organisations
The following is a short list of just a few community
organisations operating throughout Melbourne.
Victorian Multicultural Association
+61 3 9651 0651
Alliance Francaise de Melbourne
+61 3 9525 3463
Australian-American Association of Victoria
+61 419 381 479
Australian German Welfare Society Inc.
+61 3 9696 0907
Federation of Chinese Associations Inc.
+61 3 9650 6468
Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria Inc.
1800 342 800
Japanese Society of Melbourne Inc.
+61 3 9642 2120
South East Asian Assistance Committee Inc.
+61 3 9807 6231
United Kingdom Settlers Association
+61 3 9866 1722

To find out more about local councils and to find which

is yours, go to the Local Government Victoria (LGV)
website. LGV is a division of the Department of Planning
and Community Development and you can find them at
www.localgovernment.vic.gov.au or call +61 3 9208 3333.
Local governments run a wide variety of programs,
including sport and recreation services, local childcare,
community health centres and more. Most local
government services are provided cheaply or free of charge.

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia



Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

12. Media
Australia has a very open and diverse media. There are
countless sources of information of all different types.
The following is a brief overview.

There are three major daily newspapers that many people
in Melbourne read. The two local papers are The Age and
the Herald Sun. The Age is a broadsheet and the Herald
Sun a tabloid. The third paper is The Australian, the
national broadsheet. You can read free online versions
of these newspapers at:
These newspapers, and others, can be purchased at
many retail outlets like newsagencies, markets and
convenience stores. Many people choose to subscribe to
these newspapers and have them home delivered.
Many regions also have more localised papers to let
people know what is happening in their community.
These papers are generally home delivered free of charge.
You do not need to ask for this service as it is automatic.
There are also many foreign language newspapers
available throughout Melbourne. For more information
on resources available in your language or for your
community, contact the Victorian Multicultural
Commission or your local Council. More information
and a link to these are available in Chapter 11.

The television industry, including licensing and regulation

of content among other issues, is regulated by the
Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Visit www.acma.gov.au for more information.
Free TV Australia is the industry body that represents
all of Australias commercial free-to-air television
networks. For more information on their activities,
visit www.freetv.com.au.
Pay television is also available in Australia, around a
third of the population are subscribers. To find out more
about pay TV, visit http://youcompare.com.au/paytv.
To find out more information about pay TV providers:
Foxtel www.foxtel.com.au 131 999
Optus www.optus.com.au 1800 780 219

There are two bands of radio, FM and AM.
The FM dial consists of many commercial and
also public stations playing popular and classical
music. AM radio has music, talk and community
stations. Check the Victorian Multicultural
Commissions Community Directory at
www.multicultural.vic.gov.au for more information
on multicultural and ethnic media organisations.
Some radio stations that may be of particular
interest include:

3ZZZ (92.3FM) Ethnic Public Broadcasting

Association of Victoria, broadcasting in 40 different
languages and representing over 60 ethnic groups.

3CR (855AM) not-for-profit community radio

broadcasting programs in 18 different languages
covering music, current affairs, womens issues
and more.

SBS (1224AM and 93.1FM) broadcasting in

68 languages.

Melbourne has both free-to-air and cable television
(pay TV). The six free TV stations are:

Channel 7, Channel 9, Channel 10

SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) part publiclyfunded and part community-funded. Specialises in
foreign language and community programming.

Channel 31 privately owned community

network Also specialises in foreign-language
and community programming.

These three stations are commercial networks.

ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
the national, publicly-funded network.

The three commercial networks, ABC and SBS now offer

additional free-to-air digital television channels increasing
the number of channels from six to 19. A television with
a built in digital tuner, or a set top box, is required to view
these channels.

There are also various outlets specialising in foreign

books and film. Check your local papers and council
or contact the Victorian Multicultural Commission for
more information on what is available in your area.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority
is responsible for the regulation of television, radio,
and the internet in Australia. For more information visit

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia



Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

13. Useful information

Telephone numbers
000 is the emergency number for police, ambulance and
fire brigade this is a free call. 1800 phone numbers are
free calls from fixed line/home phones. Charges may
apply if you call free call numbers from a mobile phone.
13 or 1300 phone numbers are the cost of a local call
from anywhere in Australia. 19 or 1900 phone numbers
are premium numbers. These are charged by the minute at
a higher rate that can vary from around 55c to $5 a minute.
Check details before making these calls.
Australias international country calling code is +61.
Victorias area code is 03. When calling a Victorian
number from overseas, the 0 is dropped, so the code
you need to dial is 613 followed by the regular phone
number. Mobile phone numbers throughout Australia
start with 04. When calling a mobile phone from outside
Australia, again the 0 is dropped, so the number starts
614, then dial the rest of the number as usual. To make
an international call, dial 0011 followed by the country
code, the area code and then the phone number.
Generally, calls to and from mobile phones
are more expensive than calls to and from fixed lines.
Prices differ according to contracts. Check Chapter 7
for more information.
There are two main directories for telephone numbers
and addresses. The Yellow Pages is used for business
listings and is organised by category of business, and
the White Pages is used for residential and business
listings, arranged alphabetically. Both directories can
be searched online, at www.yellowpages.com.au and
www.whitepages.com.au. Hard copies are delivered
free of charge or can be obtained from Australia Post
offices or by calling 1800 810 211.

Water restrictions
Australia is generally a dry country. As a consequence
of low levels of rainfall in Melbourne and Victoria,
the Victorian Government has put in place permanent
water saving rules. These water restrictions include such
provisions as only watering your garden at night time,
so water is not lost through evaporation; using a trigger
nozzle on hoses for watering and washing of cars;
not hosing down paved areas; and special permits
for the filling of pools.

For full details on water restrictions visit

www.water.vic.gov.au or call the Department
of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) on 136 186.
As well as water restriction rules, this site has a great
deal of information on other water saving techniques,
applying for rebates to acquire water saving devices
for your home and much more. Failure to comply with
water restrictions can result in a fine.

Fire restrictions
Being a dry country makes Australia prone to bushfires.
Along with Southern California and the Northern
Mediterranean, South Eastern Australia is the most
bushfire-prone region in the world. There are various
controls and mechanisms that are used to reduce the risk
of fires. As with water, these are managed by DSE. In hot
weather, beware of days of total fire ban. This means
you are not permitted to light any open fire. Total fire ban
days are reported in the media.
To find out more about controlling and regulating fires,
visit www.dse.vic.gov.au or call 136 186. For more
information on total fire ban days, you can also visit the
Country Fire Authority (CFA) at www.cfa.vic.gov.au,
call the CFA Total Fire Ban and Fire Restriction Hotline
on 13 15 99 or call the Victorian Bushfire Information
Hotline on 1800 240 667.

Postal system
The postal system throughout Australia is run by
Australia Post.
Standard letters cost 60c to send anywhere in Australia.
Stamps can be purchased from Australia Post shops
or from a wide range of retailers such as newsagents,
milk bars, corner stores and convenience stores. Use the
large red post boxes for posting regular mail.
Express Post delivery costs more but ensures your
package will arrive the next business day anywhere in
Australia. Use the large yellow post boxes for Express
Post. Non-standard letters and packages require extra
postage. You can buy prepaid package envelopes that
allow for posting of larger sizes, or take your package
to an Australia Post shop, where it can be weighed and
measured and charged accordingly for postage.
For more details on the postal system,
visit www.australiapost.com.au or call 13 76 78.

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia


Emergency/other useful contacts

DIAL 000 FOR AMBULANCE, FIRE & POLICE Be ready to provide information such as:
Location (including cross road) Nature of the incident Your name
Table 5: Victorian emergency services
Nature of emergency/enquiry

Phone number

Animal (Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals)

03 9224 2222

Counselling: Lifeline

13 11 14

Kids Help Line

1800 551 800


13 22 89 or
for under 6 years of age call 13 22 29

Metropolitan Fire Brigade/Country Fire Authority


Victorian Bushfire Information Line

1800 240 667

Energy Safe Victoria (gas leaks)

13 27 71

Victorian Poisons Information Centre

13 11 26

State Emergency Service (storm damage, flood rescue)

13 25 00

Surf Lifesaving Victoria (surf rescue)

03 9676 6900

VicRoads (traffic hazards and conditions)

13 11 70

Vehicle towing

13 11 76

WorkSafe Victoria (workplace and dangerous goods incidents)

13 23 60

Nurse-On-Call (immediate, expert health information)

1300 60 60 24

Gamblers Helpline

1800 858 858

If you require more information, please visit www.safety.vic.gov.au.

Relocation services

If you require more information or more personalised

help, there are many organisations throughout Melbourne
that specialise in all aspects of relocations.
An excellent site to visit is The Relocation Network,
at www.relocationnetwork.com.au. This directory can
help you locate a business to provide solutions for your
needs, whatever they are. The Newcomers Network is
another useful organisation that can help you to settle
in to Melbourne and establish links with your new
community. Go to www.newcomersnetwork.com.
For all information produced by the State
Government of Victoria as well as many other


Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

useful sources of information, visit Information

Victoria at www.information.vic.gov.au or
call 1300 366 356. You can view all their publications
online or in person at Level 20, 80 Little Collins Street,
in the CBD. Many of their publications are available
free of charge.

Appendix: Links and contact details

Finding somewhere to live

Childcare and education

Health and welfare

The Real Estate Institute

of Victoria (REIV)
+61 3 9205 6666, 1900 937 348

Department of Education and

Early Childhood Development

132 011

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)

1300 55 81 81
Department of Planning and
Community Development (DPCD)
+61 3 9208 3333
+61 3 9585 9800
Online Street Directory
Where Is? Street Directory
Real Estate Suburb Reports
Real Estate Property Listings
Aussie Apartments
Serviced Apartments
Australian Explorer
Serviced Apartments
Park Avenue Serviced Apartments
Flatmate Finders
Pabs Furniture Rentals
+61 3 9813 0966
Compleat Interiors
+61 3 9427 0188


Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

Playgroup Victoria
+61 3 9388 1599
Schools Online
Association of Australasian
International Baccalaureate
Association of Independent
Schools of Victoria
+61 3 9825 7200
Catholic Education
Commission Victoria
+61 3 9267 0228
Department of Education and Early
Childhood Development (DEECD)
1800 809 834
DEECD International Students
+61 3 9637 2990
Study Melbourne
Study Assist
TAFE Courses Directory
1800 809 834

Private Health Insurance

Administration Council (PHIAC)
+61 2 6215 7900
Department of Health
1300 253 942, +61 3 9096 9000
Ambulance Victoria
1800 64 84 84
Centrelink New Migrants
132 850

Exchange Rates
Australian Securities and
Investments Commission (ASIC)
1300 300 630, +61 3 5177 3988
Australian Taxation Office
132 865, +61 2 6216 1111

Entering the country

Essential home services

Department of Immigration
and Citizenship (DIAC)
131 881

Essential Services Commission

+61 3 9651 0222, 1300 664 969

Victorian Government Skilled

Migration Program
+61 3 9651 9756
Australian Customs Service
1300 363 263, +61 2 9313 3010
Australian Quarantine and
Inspection Service
1800 020 504, +61 3 8318 6700
AQIS Pet Importing
+61 2 6272 4454
Adult Migration English Program
131 881
Northern AMEP Consortium
1300 062 314
Adult Multicultural Education
Services Consortium
+61 3 9926 4666
Translating and Interpreting Service
131 450

Your Choice
The Australian ISP Directory
Compare Broadband
National Broadband Network
1300 554 323
1300 076 377

Department of Transport
+61 3 9655 6666
13 myki (1369 54)
Public Transport Victoria
1800 800 007, +61 3 8608 5021
Victorian Taxi Directorate
1800 638 802
Yellow Pages phone directory

Royal Automobile Club of Victoria

13 72 28
Trading Post
Used car websites
Online Street Directory
Where Is? Street Directory
132 629
Skybus Super Shuttle

Sport, culture and events

Melbourne Cricket Ground
Sport and Recreation Victoria
Melbourne Theatre Company
Marriner Theatres
Her Majestys Theatre
Theatre Alive

White Pages phone directory


Tourism Victoria
132 842

131 171

Thats Melbourne
Melbourne Citysearch

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia


Shopping, food
and dining out

Community, multiculturalism
and local government

Chadstone Shopping Centre

+61 3 9563 3355

Victorian Multicultural Commission

+61 3 9651 0651

Queen Victoria Market

+61 3 9320 5822

Information Victoria
1300 366 356

South Melbourne Market

+61 3 9209 6295

Local Government Victoria (LGV)

+61 3 9208 3333

Preston Market
+61 3 9478 3130


Prahran Market
+61 3 8290 8220
Restaurant listings

The Age

Useful information
Yellow Pages phone directory
White Pages phone directory
136 186
Department of Sustainability
and Environment
136 186
Victorian Bushfire Information
1800 240 667

Herald Sun

Australia Post
13 76 78

The Australian
Free TV Australia

Safety Victoria
+61 3 8684 7933

131 999
1800 780 219
Australian Communications and
Media Authority

The Relocation Network

Newcomers Network
+61 3 9899 1109
Information Victoria
1300 366 356

We hope you have found this guide to be a useful resource in your relocation to Melbourne. If there is any further
assistance you require, or any suggestions you have as to how we could improve this guide, please do not hesitate
to contact us, either on our hotline +61 3 9651 8100, or email us at info@invest.vic.gov.au.
Published by Invest Victoria.
This publication is copyright. No part may be reproduced by any process except in accordance with the provisions
of the Copyright Act 1968. State of Victoria 2012

Moving to Melbourne Victoria, Australia

Invest Victoria
Level 33, 121 Exhibition Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
t: +61 3 9651 8100
f: +61 3 9651 9531